This score just in: JaVale McGee 1, George Karl 0.

It would be an over- simplification to suggest Karl was fired as Nuggets coach because of his refusal to develop McGee into a player worth anywhere near a $10 million salary. But it was no coincidence new general manager Tim Connelly declared he's a big fan of McGee and added the team's growth is dependent on the 25-year-old center's growth.

So here's the tough question: What if McGee isn't the answer to improving the Nuggets?
Bring me Al Jefferson.

While the summer's free-agent frenzy will focus on whether Chris Paul and Dwight Howard can start a bro-mance in an NBA city of their choosing, Jefferson is a free agent who also offers intriguing questions.

Can Utah afford to keep Jefferson? Despite his defensive shortcomings, how many 6-foot-10, 265-pound players are capable of providing 18 points and nine rebounds on a game-by-game basis? And should swingman Andre Iguodala walk away from Denver, how will an offensively challenged team fill the $15 million hole in its payroll?

On the day Connelly was introduced, he paused in the Pepsi Center hallway to consider one of my long-held beliefs of the NBA world:

It is relatively simple, given hard work and hoops acumen, for an executive to take a team from 27 victories, where Connelly's former employer in New Orleans is stuck, to a 50-32 squad that makes the playoffs. But it's far harder to make the jump from 57 victories, which did the Nuggets proud last season, to league champion.